The last few weeks have been relatively serious. And this one really could be a serious topic, but it probably is going to come off a bit more comical than contemplative.

Breeding. It’s part of living. 1 + 1 = 1. And in really sticky cases, 1 + 1 = 2 or 3 or 4.  Or, A + B = C. Animals do it. Plants do it. Humans do it. But should there be a limit on it? I’m not necessarily talking the Chinese theory of 1-child/household. But if A + B = a bad combination, shouldn’t somebody tell the poor people to stop?

Case in point. Many years ago, I knew a family. Mother, Father, oldest son, oldest daughter, youngest daughter, youngest son. I knew them all in their adulthood, for the most part. Oldest Son was mentally challenged. To the degree that I could tell, I believe that they were aware of this by the time Oldest Daughter was conceived. But, luckily, next 3 children were born with all mental faculties (as far as anyone could tell).

However, Oldest Daughter came out with a painfully disfigured nose. Who knew that 2 normal-nosed people could produce a plastic surgeon’s dream patient? Well, Youngest Daughter came along with the same nose. And Mother and Father went on for round 4.

I understand that certain religions make family-size planning a bit difficult, but at some point, you have to realize that your genetic makeup may not be a match made in heaven with the love of your life’s genes.

I think back to a recent West Michigan news story about a family who had 3 or 4 (young) children all with the same usually fatal [heart?] condition. … and they knew about this condition since child 1’s birth. So why risk bringing another child into this world to suffer like the first? And if 2 has it, then you are basic caste in concrete for producing more like this, so again, I ask… why keep going?

Let’s face it: some genetic combinations produce good results. Mr. and Mrs. McConaughey, I applaud you for having a son. Goldie and Kurt, you two did good, too.  Mr. and Mrs. Manning, thank you for a team full of sons.

But let’s be honest… not all of us will actually be adding anything desirable to the gene pool. At 2 distinct points in my life (college and law school), I listened to 2 different guy friends explain what a “breeder” is – someone who is genetically desirable and will (hopefully) produce good, strong results with your genes. Because I wear contacts, college guy explained that is a less desirable quality and weighs negatively for a prospective breeder. It sort of all goes back to survival of the fittest… and each of these guys expressed as elementary a belief to me: that mating (in their eyes) really was simply about finding a strong candidate to combine genes with.

When you break it down that way, wouldn’t you think that our gene pool would be crystal clear and sparkling right now?


One thought on “Breeding (or, Draining the Gene Pool)

  1. Pingback: Housekeeping « Thursday Morning Meditations

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